Engagement drivers

This article walks through 15Five's engagement drivers and how they're used in our Engagement feature. Engagement drivers are characteristics of an organization's work environment and employee experience. When completing an engagement campaign using 15Five, you can measure 17 engagement drivers that are scientifically proven to impact employee engagement— so you know where to celebrate and where to take action.

In this article, you will learn:

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Engagement.
👥 This article is relevant to all roles.
📦 This feature is available in the Engage, Legacy Perform, and Total Platform pricing packages.


What are engagement drivers?

Engagement drivers are predictive characteristics of the work environment and employee experience. 15Five's engagement model includes 17 drivers that employee engagement research identifies as influencers or "levers" of engagement, each of which is measured based on specific statements in the core engagement survey. They relate to workplace qualities and feelings that allow employees to engage with their work. Measuring engagement drivers gives leaders the knowledge they need to identify which areas they should address to create an environment where employees are engaged with their work.

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Science

Employee engagement is vital to organizational success. Gallup reports that companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability and 17% higher productivity than companies with a disengaged workforce. If that isn't enough, engaged employees are also 87% less likely to leave their organization than disengaged employees. Talk about impact!


Interact with drivers in 15Five

Include driver questions in an engagement campaign

Driver questions are included in the following engagement surveys, any of which can be added to an engagement campaign:

  • EngageSurvey: Our core EngageSurvey contains 58 statements, each of which participants answer on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, strongly agree). For each of these statements, participants also have the option to provide an open-response question. View the core engagement survey in-app here.
  • Driver surveys: 15Five offers 17 surveys that are specific to each engagement driver. These surveys ask the same Likert-scale statements as the full EngageSurvey and allow organizations to really hone in on the particular drivers that are important to them at any given time.

Read more about engagement survey options or creating an engagement campaign.

How drivers are measured

In engagement surveys, each driver is associated with 2-3 statements. As they fill out engagement surveys, employees report how much they agree or disagree with the survey statements that are related to each driver. Employees' average responses to the statements for each driver are compared to an indexed average of responses from our database.

Reporting options help organizations determine what is contributing to engagement and what can be acted on to improve engagement.

Engagement driver reporting options

People with results access can view engagement driver scores in two places in results reporting: the 'Drivers' tab and the 'Heatmap' tab.

Drivers tab

The 'Drivers' tab lists the results for all engagement drivers and gives you the information needed to determine where your organization should focus actions following the completion of an engagement campaign. This tab contains the following information:

  • Driver name: Hover over the name to read the definition and survey statements for that driver.
  • Sphere: What sphere of experience the driver falls into. Options are: Work Experience, Leadership, Manager, and Coworkers.
  • Score: The driver scores from the survey.
  • Influence: How impactful each driver is on engagement in your organization.
  • Change: The increase or decrease in the driver score from the previous survey to the current survey.
  • Trend: The change in driver scores over the past four campaigns that used the same survey as the campaign you're viewing results for.
Heatmap tab

The heatmap displays driver scores for the engagement survey and compares them with scores in 15Five's Engagement Driver Index, which represents the average response to each engagement driver based on a sample set of data from our database.

  • Scores that are above the index (0 to +4) are displayed in blue and show that those drivers are strong in the work environment.
  • Scores that are below the index (-4 to 0) are displayed in orange and show that those drivers could be improved.

Individual driver information

Autonomy

What is autonomy?

Autonomy is a measure of the work experience. This driver assesses the degree to which an employee feels empowered to accomplish their work without constant oversight. High scores on autonomy would indicate that the employee does not feel micromanaged and feels freedom to accomplish their day-to-day tasks in the ways/processes that they feel are best for the outcome.

When employees have autonomy in their work, they are trusted to use their expertise to make decisions about how to do their jobs. Autonomy helps us understand where employees may feel micro-managed or empowered in their roles. Autonomy can be impacted by a few areas, including the type and frequency of decision-making that is given to employees and the amount of supervision or oversight they receive in their role.

What statements measure autonomy?

In 15Five engagement surveys, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Autonomy and share how strongly they agree or disagree based on their work experience:

  • I can make meaningful decisions about how I do my job.
  • I have freedom to do my job in the best way I see fit.
  • I am not micro-managed at my job.

How does autonomy impact engagement?

When employees feel that they experience autonomy in their work environment, this has a positive impact on the work that they do. Employees with high autonomy take initiative, seek to improve areas of their work, and feel trusted to make important decisions about how they work.

Recommended actions to drive autonomy

  • Grant autonomy: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop practices that grant team members autonomy and give them the freedom and flexibility to choose when, where, and how much they work as much as possible for the role. 

  • Clearly communicate cultural norms: Ensure People Ops/HR and managers clearly document and communicate the cultural norms of the organization, such as flexible working arrangements.

  • Ensure role clarity: Encourage managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements. Clarify role responsibilities, performance agreements, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). Train managers to create agreements over expectations.

  • Minimize micromanagement: Encourage managers to minimize micromanagement by allowing their team members to find their own ways to accomplish their goals/objectives. 

  • Give employees whole pieces of work: Train managers to ensure team members have ownership of whole pieces of work.

  • Provide skills training: Encourage managers to help team members identify skills gaps and train them so they have the skills to work independently and take on more responsibility.
Capacity

What is capacity?

Capacity is a measure of the work experience and can be defined as the degree of psychological availability an employee has to perform in their role. In other words, it speaks to their ability to handle and cope, both cognitively and emotionally, with the duties associated with their role at work. In some ways, it acts as a reservoir, or barometer, to determine how much "capacity" they have left to confidently perform their duties. Low scores of capacity may signify that an employee is in need of "rest" to rebuild. Think of capacity as a gas tank that employees rely on to determine what they can bring to their daily work.

Overall, capacity is about the mental energy employees can bring to their job and the way that impacts their ability to prioritize, focus, and troubleshoot issues that may arise during the day.

What statements measure capacity?

In 15Five engagement assessments, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Capacity and share how strongly they agree or disagree:

  • I am confident in my ability to handle competing demands at work.
  • I am confident in my ability to deal with problems that come up at work.
  • I am confident in my ability to think clearly at work.

How does capacity impact engagement?

Capacity impacts how employees "show up" to work and helps us understand if they have the bandwidth to be engaged. Employees with high capacity are able to prioritize competing demands, are confident in their role, and feel they can be successful as they think through and encounter different situations at work. When capacity is low and employees are concerned about their capacity, this can signal a risk for burnout.

Recommended actions to drive capacity

  • Ensure adequate resources: Encourage People Ops/HR to ensure team members have adequate resources to do their jobs effectively, especially if working remotely (e.g. materials, equipment, information, budget, systems, processes, including a strong IT function). 

  • Ensure reasonable workloads: Encourage managers to regularly check in and ensure their team member’s workload is reasonable. Reduce demands. Stop overloading teams with stressful tasks and expecting one person to do multiple jobs.

  • Do less and obsess: Encourage leaders and managers to set and focus on no more than 2-3 company and department goals each quarter. Encourage team members to set and focus on no more than  2-3 priorities each quarter (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature). Empower employees with “permission to say no” to ask/tasks that are not in alignment with key priorities/expectations.

  • Remove red tape: Encourage managers to schedule one week per quarter to review department processes. Remove unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape. Regularly conduct meeting audits to remove unnecessary, unproductive meetings.

  • Maximize energizing work: Encourage managers to help team members maximize energizing work that is enjoyable and offload de-energizing work that is draining (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). 

  • Promote deep work: Encourage People Ops/HR to implement company-wide meeting-free times or days (e.g. no meeting Wednesdays) at least once per week.

Coworker relationships

What is the coworker relationships driver?

The coworker relationships driver is a measure of an employee's relationship with their coworkers. This driver assesses the overall level of coworker cohesion/amicable interactions and positive relationships at the organization. Strong coworker relationships stem from respect among employees who work closely together. In this environment, they feel safe to share ideas and collaborate with one another. This doesn't mean that everyone will be best friends or always get along, but the foundation of trust and respect leads to this driver being strong.

What statements measure the coworker relationships driver?

In 15Five engagement surveys, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Coworker Relationships and share how strongly they agree or disagree:

  • My coworkers value my input.
  • I trust my coworkers.
  • My coworkers and I have mutual respect for one another.

How do coworker relationships impact engagement?

Positive and rewarding coworker relationships create an environment that encourages greater employee engagement. It leads to healthy teams that have trust and respect. This sense of connection and safety in the workplace can be an important aspect of employee engagement.

Recommended actions to drive coworker relationships

  • Develop the relationship on Day 1: Encourage managers to meet with new hires on day 1 of onboarding to get to know each other, develop the relationship, and talk about non-work related topics before diving into any work (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Kickoff tool). 

  • Promote regular 1-on-1s: Ensure managers hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with team members at least 1x a month (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins and 1-on-1s features). 

  • Hold human-centered 1-on-1s: Train managers to spend the first 5 minutes of each 1-on-1 talking about non-work related topics to develop the relationship and build trust (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins and 1-on-1s features). 

  • Practice vulnerability: Train managers to be vulnerable first and often to build trust.

  • Coach using questions: Train managers on the power of asking questions to coach and develop their team members.

  • Implement relationship-building technology: Encourage People Ops/HR to implement relationship-building technology for automated coffee chats (e.g. Donut.com or Spark Collaboration). 

  • Hold in-person offsite: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to hold regular in-person company and department offsites to promote team bonding.

  • Become a relational master: Train managers on key relationship practices such as regular recognition, nonviolent communication, active listening, active constructive responding, and setting agreements vs. expectations (e.g. through 15Five's High Fives and Feedback features). 

Fairness

What is the fairness driver?

Fairness is a measure of leadership. This driver assess the employee's perception of fairness of the company's allotment of rewards, and decision-making processes. It helps us to understand if their perception is that employees are treated fairly or unfairly.

The perception of fairness typically relates to two components: rewards and treatment. Fairness of rewards is focused on compensations while fairness in treatment can point to procedures or decision-making processes.

What statements measure the fairness driver?

In 15Five engagement assessments, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Fairness and share how strongly they agree or disagree:

  • Decisions here about people are made using a fair process.
  • I feel the rewards I get are equitable given the work I do.
  • Overall I feel this organization is just and fair in the way it treats and rewards employees.

How does fairness impact engagement?

Employees tend to associate fairness issues with decisions made by top-level leaders in the organization. When fairness is low it can create skepticism among employees which impacts their ability to fully engage. This can run the risk of spreading among peers and teams and can impact how employees respond to future decisions or changes.

Recommended actions to drive fairness

  • Create a standardized process: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop a standardized performance review process that's consistent across all departments, for all employees. Define the criteria against which performance is assessed. Create rubrics for performance and evaluations that are first agreed upon by managers and their team members (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub and Best-Self Review® features). 

  • Ensure a fair compensation strategy: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to ensure a fair compensation strategy that’s aligned with the market. 

  • Clearly document and communicate the performance management process: Encourage People Ops/HR to clearly document and communicate the organization's performance management, compensation, and rewards process. If you don't have one, be transparent that you don't yet or your program is in process. 

  • Ensure role clarity: Encourage managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements. Clarify role responsibilities, performance expectations, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Set goals together: Encourage managers to set performance, project, and/or task goals together with their team members (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature). Including team members in the goal-setting process helps to ensure they feel heard and that their voice is included.

  • Separate compensation and development conversations: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to separate compensation and development discussions. Hold compensation conversations annually or on a regular cadence. 

  • Include a self-review for fairness: Encourage People Ops/HR to include self-review in the performance for active participation and having one’s voice heard (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature). 

  • Ditch forced rankings and ratings: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to ditch traditional ratings and forced rankings that are highly biased and demote employees. Adopt a more fair and objective rating system that reduces bias and motivates high performance (e.g. through 15Five’s Private Manager Assessment and Calibrations tools within Best-Self Review®). 

  • Separate ratings and compensation: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to separate ratings from compensation and promotion decisions. 

  • Complete reviews on time: Encourage managers to complete the reviews on time to increase perceived fairness.

  • Follow up after a review: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to send a follow-up survey after a review and gauge whether team members thought the review process was fair and useful (e.g. by creating a Check-in question for employees to answer using 15Five’s Check-ins feature). As a direct manager, you have the benefit of being much closer to the emotions and perceptions of your team. While fairness issues are often associated with decisions made by upper leadership, you can help promote fairness for the organization in the way you clarify and reiterate communication about changes or decisions. If you notice an employee that is struggling with a negative perception, think about ways you can coach them one on one so the sentiment doesn't spread further in the team. If there is a situation that was truly unfair, consider ways you can advocate on behalf of your team higher up in the organization to build the momentum to improve fairness!

Feedback

What is the feedback driver?

Feedback is a measurement of an employee's direct manager. This driver assess the employee's perception of the feedback they receive in terms of amount, frequency, and usefulness. Each of these three criteria are weighed together to represent the multi-faceted construct of receiving feedback from business leaders. This driver helps leaders understand the effectiveness of their communication with employees.

What statements measure the feedback driver?

In 15Five engagement assessments, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Feedback and share how strongly they agree or disagree:

  • I get sufficient feedback about how well I am doing.
  • I get feedback that is constructive.
  • I receive feedback on a regular basis.

How does feedback impact engagement?

Gallup suggests that when employees strongly agree that they received meaningful feedback in the past week, they are almost 4x more likely than other employees to be engaged in their work. Employees typically reflect on the type and frequency of feedback that they receive from their direct manager when responding to this driver. When feedback is not frequent enough, employees can lack clarity about important aspects of their work. The right type of feedback that is balanced with positive reinforcement and constructive growth opportunities can also help employees identify opportunities to further engage and connect with their work.

Recommended actions to drive feedback

  • Hold regular 1-on-1s: Encourage managers to hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with their team members at least 1x a month that go beyond status updates (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins and 1-on-1s features). Try not to cancel or reschedule these meetings.

  • Help team members make progress: Encourage managers to regularly help team members by removing roadblocks and celebrating wins (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins feature).

  • Create a culture of recognition: Encourage managers to regularly recognize their team members for wins both big and small (e.g. through 15Five’s High Fives feature). Train managers to provide more recognition and encouragement than criticism.

  • Encourage strengths-spotting: Encourage managers to provide strengths-based recognition (e.g. through 15Five’s High Fives feature).

  • Encourage managers to request feedback: Encourage managers to regularly solicit feedback from their direct reports (e.g. through 15Five’s Feedback feature).

  • Encourage team members to request feedback: Encourage team members to regularly solicit feedback from their managers and peers (e.g. through 15Five’s Feedback feature).

  • Provide nonviolent communication training: Train managers and team members on how to provide constructive feedback using nonviolent communication that focuses on the behavior, not the person (e.g. through 15Five’s Feedback feature).

  • Implement robust growth and development conversations: Encourage People Ops/HR to implement robust growth and development conversations 2-3 times a year (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).

  • Educate managers on emotional contagion: Train managers on how positive and negative emotions spread in an organization and how to take responsibility for the energy they bring into the room.

Goal support

What is the goal support driver?

Goal Support is a measurement of the work experience. This driver identifies the organizational efforts to remove structural barriers that prevent an employee from achieving their goals. Goal Support is not tied with skill acquisition or competency, but, rather, the organization's effort to remove the frequent distractions that thwart and/or prevent an employee from carrying out their roles and responsibilities to their best ability. High Scores on this driver are framed as high "Goal Support" from an organization, while low scores should be explained as "Goal Barriers" that the organization has allowed to remain.

Goal Support is impacted by the systems, processes, and resources that are provided to employees to help them achieve goals and outcomes.

What statements measure the goal support driver?

In 15Five engagement assessments, employees are prompted to reflect on the following statements related to Fairness and share how strongly they agree or disagree:

  • There is a great support system at this organization that helps me achieve my work goals.
  • My organization helps to limit the number of distractions that keep me from achieving my goals.
  • My organization provides me with what I need to help achieve my goals.

How does goal support impact engagement?

Employees tend to perceive goal support as something that is primarily impacted by the company. When goal support is not available, this can have an impact on achieving targets and morale and can contribute to feelings of burnout for employees.

Recommended actions to drive goal support

  • Ensure adequate resources: Encourage People Ops/HR to ensure team members have adequate resources to do their jobs effectively, especially if working remotely (e.g. materials, equipment, information, budget, systems, processes, including a strong IT function).

  • Implement OKRs: Encourage leaders, managers, and individual contributors to set clear company, department, and individual goals each quarter as well as track goal progress publicly (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).

  • Do less and obsess: Encourage leaders, managers, and individual contributors to set and focus on no more than 2 - 3 goals each quarter (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature). Empower employees with “permission to say no” to work requests that are not in alignment with key priorities/expectations.

  • Ensure goal progress: Encourage managers to ensure regular progress on goals by removing roadblocks and celebrating wins (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins feature).

  • Update team members on changing priorities: Encourage People Ops/HR to create practices for company context setting (e.g. weekly town halls), to share updates and changing priorities that impact employees' work. During 1-on-1s, encourage managers to set context frequently and update their direct reports on any changing company priorities. Allow team members to adjust their goals based on changing priorities.

  • Promote deep work: Encourage People Ops/HR to implement company-wide meeting-free times or days (e.g. no meeting Wednesdays) at least once per week.

  • Ensure adequate resources: Encourage People Ops/HR to ensure team members have adequate resources to do their jobs effectively, especially if working remotely (e.g. materials, equipment, information, budget, systems, processes, including a strong IT function). 

Leader availability

What is the leader availability driver?

Leader availability is a measure of the organization's leadership. It captures the degree of visibility and availability of their business leaders. Available leaders are approachable, visible, accessible, and readily available to all employees in the organization.

What statements measure the leader availability driver?

  • The leaders of this organization are often connecting with people at work.
  • The leaders of this organization make themselves available for the employees.
  • The leaders of this organization can be easily reached by the employees.

How does leader availability impact engagement?

Employees who feel that their leaders are accessible are more likely to be engaged, as they see their leaders as approachable and responsive to their concerns. This open communication channel creates an environment where employees feel heard and valued, which in turn enhances their commitment to the organization. On the contrary, when leader availability is low, it can lead to disengagement and a lack of trust in leadership. Employees may feel disconnected and unheard, which can negatively impact their engagement levels.

Recommended actions to drive leader availability

  • Hold regular 1-on-1s: Ensure all leaders and managers hold 1-on-1's with team members at least once a month (e.g. through 15Five's Check-ins and 1-on-1s features).
  • Respond quickly: Encourage leaders and managers to respond within 24 hours to all communications (e.g. E-mail, Slack, Microsoft Teams).
  • Hold managers accountable: Encourage People Ops/HR to provide feedback to and/or demote unresponsive managers.
  • Encourage coffee chats: Encourage regular coffee chats between leaders and other team members for cross-departmental connections (e.g. through Donut.com or Spark Collaboration).
  • Hold quarterly town halls: Encourage People Ops/HR and leaders to hold regular town halls with Q&A time. Give people opportunities to ask questions and address their concerns.
Leader Integrity

What is the leader integrity driver?

Leader integrity is a measure of the organization's leadership. It measures employees' perception of leaders' commitment to do what is best for employees and the company and their ability to follow through on that commitment. 

What statements measure the leader integrity driver?

  • The leaders in this organization follow through with what they say they are going to do.
  • The leaders in this organization are reliable.
  • I can depend on the leaders of this organization.

How does leader integrity impact engagement?

When employees believe that their leaders have integrity and are dedicated to doing what is best for everyone involved, it fosters trust and confidence. This trust is a cornerstone of engagement, as employees feel assured that their leaders have their best interests at heart.

On the contrary, when leader integrity is perceived as lacking, it can erode trust and lead to disengagement. Employees may question the sincerity of leadership's commitment, which can negatively impact their engagement levels.

Recommended actions to drive leader integrity

  • Form an engagement steering team: Encourage People Ops/HR to form a cross-functional team to take action on recent feedback/survey results with an executive sponsor to implement important company initiatives (e.g. through 15Five’s Engagement feature).

  • Take timely action: Encourage People Ops/HR, as well as managers and leaders to take timely action on feedback/survey results. Clarify who is responsible for taking action, communicating results, and following through (e.g. through 15Five’s Engagement feature).

  • Publicly communicate actions: Encourage People Ops/HR, managers, and leaders to publicly communicate organizational actions based on feedback/survey results, including timelines and who is responsible.

  • Make agreements over expectations: Encourage People Ops/HR to train all team members, especially managers and leaders, on how to make agreements over expectations when collaborating with others on how and what work gets done. Agreements are co-created by both people.

  • Conduct a listening tour: Encourage People Ops/HR, managers, and leaders to spend intentional time with teams directly asking curious questions about the employee experience. What’s working? What’s broken? What advice do you have for improvement? Take action based on feedback.

  • Hold managers accountable: Encourage People Ops/HR to provide feedback to and/or demote unreliable, undependable, unresponsible managers and leaders (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).

  • Hold regular town halls: Encourage People Ops/HR and leaders to hold regular company meetings (e.g. town halls) with all employees and clearly communicate updates that impact employees. Explain the “why” behind changes and decision-making. Include Q&A time.

Manager

What is the manager driver?

The manager driver is a measurement of an employee's direct manager. The relationship between the employee and their manager looks at respect, fairness, and development. This driver reflects each employee's assessment of the manager as they interact with the respondent (communication/interaction) more so than manager philosophy/culture.

What statements measure the manager driver?

  • My manager treats me fairly in the way they interact with me.
  • My manager helps me develop confidence in my own ability to do my job well.

How do managers impact engagement?

15Five’s 2022 Workplace Report found that unsupportive management is the top reason employees leave companies. When employees have a positive relationship with their manager characterized by respect and fairness, it fosters trust and satisfaction. This, in turn, boosts engagement levels, as employees feel valued and supported in their roles.

Moreover, a manager who actively promotes employee development contributes significantly to engagement. When employees see opportunities for growth and skill enhancement, it enhances their commitment to the organization.

Recommended actions to drive the manager driver

  • Recruit managers effectively: Encourage People Ops/HR to recruit and promote managers effectively. Only 1 out of 10 people are suited to be managers. Clearly identify people who are not meant to be managers and develop IC tracks for them instead.

  • Set clear manager agreements: Encourage People Ops/HR to create a set of clear agreements for what it means to be a manager at your company. Clarify what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).

  • Develop a standardized performance management process: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop a standardized performance review process that's consistent across all departments, for all employees. Define the criteria against which performance is assessed. Create rubrics for performance and evaluations that are first agreed upon by managers and their team members (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).

  • Clearly document and communicate the performance management process: Encourage People Ops/HR to clearly document and communicate the organization's performance management, compensation, and rewards process. If you don't have one, be transparent that you don't yet or your program is in process.

  • Ensure fair compensation: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop a fair and competitive compensation strategy that’s at or above market rates.

  • Hold manager accountable: Encourage People Ops/HR to provide feedback to and/or demote managers and leaders who consistently score low on survey/feedback results.

  • Hold regular 1-on-1s: Encourage managers to hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with their team members at least 1x/month that go beyond status updates (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins and 1-on-1s features). Try not to cancel or reschedule these meetings.

  • Develop your managers: Encourage People Ops/HR to coach and develop managers using an evidence-based approach to leadership and high performance (e.g. through 15Five’s Transform offerings).

  • Identify skill gaps and train team members: Encourage People Ops/HR to train managers to help team members identify skill gaps and areas for growth. Provide skills-based growth and development opportunities (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

Meaning

What is the meaning driver?

Meaning is a measurement of work experience. The organization helps employees have a sense of value (purpose, money, status, and influence) when they immerse themselves in their roles.

What statements measure the meaning driver?

  • My job activities are personally meaningful to me.
  • I feel that the work I do on my job is valuable.
  • The work I do on this job is very important to me.

How does meaning impact engagement?

Researchers have discovered that meaning is one of the most influential drivers in determining employee engagement. When employees find meaning in their work, they are more motivated and committed. It's a fundamental factor in creating a workplace where employees excel and feel a deep sense of purpose.

Recommended actions to drive meaning

  • Meet your customer: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to find opportunities for team members to meet customers or those impacted by their work in person or over video.

  • Gather and share positive customer feedback: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to gather customer stories to share with the organization.

  • Highlight the impact: Encourage managers to regularly recognize team members and share the impact they had on them or the organization (e.g. through 15Five's High Fives feature).

  • Ensure meaningful work: Ensure team members engage in meaningful work that is aligned with their strengths and energizing (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Ensure progress on meaningful work: Encourage managers to help their team members make progress on meaningful work by removing roadblocks and celebrating wins (e.g. through 15Five’s Check-ins feature).

     

Professional development

What is the professional development driver?

Professional development is a measurement of work experience. This driver assesses the employee's perception of the organizational opportunities and actions in developing the skills, knowledge level, and competencies necessary to carry out their tasks. This can include onboarding, further training, and misc workshops available for the employee administered/offered by the organization.

Overall, this driver measures whether or not employees feel that the organization promotes and encourages employees' professional development.

What statements measure the professional development driver?

  • I am encouraged to expand my skills and abilities.
  • There is someone at work who encourages my professional development.
  • I have opportunities to increase my influence in the organization.

How does professional development impact engagement?

When organizations actively promote and support employees' growth, it fosters a sense of investment and commitment. Employees who feel their professional development is encouraged are more likely to be motivated and dedicated. They see opportunities for advancement and skill enhancement, which in turn leads to a more engaged and productive workforce.

Recommended actions to drive professional development

  • Promote role clarity: Encourage managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements from the start. Clarify role responsibilities, performance agreements, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). Train managers to create agreements over expectations.

  • Promote strengths-based development: Encourage managers to help their team members identify their top strengths and align their roles to their strengths, as well as maximize energizing work and reduce de-energizing work (e.g. through 15Five's Best-Self Kickoff tool and Career Hub feature).

  • Provide regular feedback: Ensure managers provide regular growth and development feedback at least once a month (e.g. through the 15Five Check-ins and 1-on-1s features).

  • Develop career ladders: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop career ladders that clearly identify career paths as well as the skills, competencies, and behaviors required for each role (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Hold robust development conversations: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to hold robust development conversations at least 2x/year (e.g. through 15Five's Best-Self Review® feature).

  • Budget for professional development: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to set aside a portion of the budget for professional development spend for each employee.

  • Promote fairness and equality: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to reduce “office housework” that is disproportionately given to women such as admin tasks, menial jobs, and undervalued assignments (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Set skills-based learning goals: Encourage managers to help team members identify a skills gap, develop a rare and valuable skill, and set a skills-based learning goal (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Regularly request feedback: Encourage managers, leaders, and team members to regularly request positive and constructive feedback (e.g. through 15Five’s Feedback feature).

Psychological safety

What is the psychological safety driver?

Psychological safety is a measurement of an employee's direct manager. It reflects an individual's sense that they can show and employ their true selves at work without fear of negative consequences to self-image, status, or career.

What statements measure the psychological safety driver?

  • I am not afraid to be myself at work.
  • I do not sense any kind of threatening environment at work.
  • I am free to express my opinions at work.

How does psychological safety impact engagement?

When employees feel they can be their authentic selves at work without fear of negative consequences, it creates an environment of trust and openness. In such a workplace, individuals are more likely to speak up, share ideas, and collaborate effectively. This sense of security leads to greater engagement as employees feel valued and supported in their contributions.

Recommended actions to drive psychological safety

  • Promote role clarity: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements from the start. Clarify role responsibilities, performance agreements, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). Train managers to create agreements over expectations.
  • Hold managers accountable for role clarity: Encourage People Ops/HR to hold managers accountable for role clarity conversations (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).
  • Develop the relationship: Ensure managers meet with new hires on day 1 of onboarding (e.g. over lunch or a coffee chat) and focus solely on developing the relationship with their team members. Encourage managers and team members to get to know each other first before diving into any work (e.g. through 15Five's Best-Self Kickoff tool).
  • Regularly request feedback: Encourage all leaders and managers to regularly request feedback from their team members (e.g. through 15Five's Feedback feature).
  • Conduct a feedforward interview: Encourage managers to understand employees' top wins and what led to those wins. Find ways to replicate those wins in the future (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).
  • Create an aspirational job title: Encourage team members to self-reflect and create their aspirational, dream job title (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).
  • Encourage help-seeking: Encourage team members to ask for help and train managers to remove roadblocks, loop in the right people, and support their team members (e.g. through the 15Five's Check-ins feature).

  • Practice supportive communication: Encourage managers to celebrate their team members' wins with enthusiastic support such as “This is great news!” and “Tell me more!” to strengthen the relationship (e.g. through 15Five’s High Fives feature).

  • Practice vulnerability: Encourage leaders and managers to demonstrate vulnerability by publicly admitting mistakes.

  • Make it safe to fail: Encourage leaders and managers to make it safe to fail by framing mistakes as learning opportunities.

Purpose

What is the purpose driver?

Purpose is a measurement of an employee's work experience. It assesses the degree to which an employee believes in and understands the purpose of the organization's mission. Unlike meaning, which weighs the value an individual places on the role they play, the purpose driver focuses on how well the employee believes in and understands the organization's purpose and mission.

Overall, the purpose driver reflects the employee's understanding, belief, and alignment with your organization's purpose.

What statements measure the purpose driver?

  • I know why this organization exists.
  • I feel a shared sense of purpose with my work group.
  • I have a good idea of what this organization is trying to accomplish.

These statements are intended to get at three different reasons why organizational purpose might be struggling:

  1. Lack of awareness of the goals of the organization.
  2. Lack of understanding of what motivates and inspires the goals of the organization.
  3. Employees might have the above elements but don't believe others share them or understand them. This is a test for the robustness of that message and understanding across the organization as seen by individual employees.

How does purpose impact engagement?

When employees are deeply aligned with the organization's core values and goals, they become more engaged and committed. They see their work as meaningful in the context of the larger mission, leading to a stronger sense of purpose in their daily tasks. In essence, nurturing a strong sense of purpose among employees is essential for creating a workplace where individuals are not just engaged but also deeply connected to the organization's mission and vision.

Recommended actions to drive purpose

  • Communicate a clear mission and vision: Encourage leaders and managers to communicate a clear mission and vision both internally and externally wherever possible (e.g. on the website, job descriptions, company intranet).
  • Create company goals: Encourage leaders to create 2-3 company goals each quarter and share those goals publicly within the organization (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).
  • Create department goals: Encourage managers to create 2-3 department goals each quarter and share those goals publicly within the organization. Align department goals to company goals (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).
  • Create individual goals: Encourage managers to work with their team members to create individual goals that align to the department and company goals (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature.
  • Find your "why": Encourage managers to help their team members uncover their unique purpose (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).
Rest

What is the rest driver?

Rest is a measure of work experience. This driver assesses the degree to which the employee believes that they are receiving an adequate amount of time off (i.e. rest) from their jobs. When answering statements related to the rest driver, employees reflect on whether or not they have the sense that they can take time off when needed.

What statements measure the rest driver?

  • I feel like I can take personal time off when I need it.
  • I feel like I can take a vacation when I need it.

How does rest impact engagement?

When employees believe they can take time off when needed, it fosters a healthier work-life balance. This, in turn, leads to more engaged and productive employees who are less prone to burnout. Recognizing the importance of rest is essential for creating a workplace where employees can recharge, stay motivated, and perform at their best.

Recommended actions to drive rest

  • Promote paid time off: Encourage People Ops/HR to create an unlimited PTO philosophy or a minimum of 20 days a year (use it or lose it). Clearly communicate the philosophy and encourage team members to take a vacation.
  • Prioritize self-care: Encourage all team members to prioritize self-care (e.g. exercise, meditation, healthy eating, energy breaks) and to set boundaries at work (e.g. by blocking off time on their calendars for renewal breaks).
  • Promote renewal breaks: Encourage 5-10 min breaks in between meetings (e.g. schedule 25 min (vs 30 min) and 50 min (vs 60 min) meetings).
  • Develop a strong paid leave policy: Encourage People Ops/HR and leaders to develop a strong paid leave policy (e.g. 3-4 months paid leave).
  • Develop a sabbatical program: Encourage People Ops/HR and leaders to develop a sabbatical program (e.g. 6-8 weeks every 5 years).
  • Implement a 4-day work week: Encourage People Ops/HR and leaders to consider adopting a 4-day work week or promote half days once a week.
  • Ensure a reasonable workload: Encourage managers to regularly check in and ensure their team member’s workload is reasonable (e.g. through 15Five's Check-ins feature).
Role clarity

What is the role clarity driver?

Role clarity is a measurement of work experience. This driver measures how well the employee understands what's expected from them in terms of output, goals, and performance AND the guardrails around what is and is not their job. Employees expect that their performance will be measured on what is asked of them and they desire metrics that correlate with how they are evaluated.

For high scores in role clarity, employees need to have an accurate job description — one that reflects the actual job they do — as well as a definition on that job description of what the difference is between good/better/best-in-class performance. When Role Clarity is high, success in that role has an impact on the department, the team, and the organization. Role Clarity is the single biggest influence behind meaning, capacity, and utilization.

Overall, role clarity measures how the organization connects employees' daily work tasks to the purpose of the business and provides clarity about what that work is.

What statements measure the role clarity driver?

  • I understand how my role fits into the purpose of the organization.
  • There is a clear link between what I do and organizational objectives.
  • Overall, I have a good understanding of what I am supposed to be doing in my job.

How does role clarity impact engagement?

When employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the organization's mission, it creates a sense of purpose and direction. Role clarity ensures that employees can align their efforts with organizational goals, leading to higher engagement and productivity.

An accurate job description that reflects their actual duties, along with clear definitions of performance levels, is key to achieving high role clarity. When employees know the difference between good, better, and best-in-class performance, they are more likely to excel in their roles. Moreover, role clarity ensures that employees' contributions have a meaningful impact on their department, team, and the organization as a whole.

Recommended actions to drive role clarity

  • Leverage realistic job previews: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop and leverage realistic job previews during the recruiting process to set clear expectations about the company and role.
  • Ensure role clarity: Encourage managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements from the start. Clarify role responsibilities, performance agreements, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). Train managers to create agreements over expectations.
  • Communicate a clear mission and vision: Encourage leaders and managers to communicate a clear mission and vision both internally and externally wherever possible (e.g. on the website, job postings, company intranet).
  • Create company goals: Encourage executive leaders to create 2-3 company goals each quarter and share those goals publicly within the organization (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).
  • Create department goals: Encourage managers to create 2-3 department goals each quarter and share those goals publicly within the organization. Align department goals with company goals (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).
  • Create individual goals: Encourage managers to work with their team members to create individual goals that align with the department and company objectives (e.g. through 15Five’s Objectives feature).
  • Leverage the RACI framework: Encourage managers to leverage the RACI framework when needed on teams. Teams need to understand who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed within their workgroup.
Shared values

What is the shared values driver?

The shared values driver is a measurement of an employee's relationship with their coworkers. This driver reflects whether or not coworkers share common work attitudes and is an indicator of a similar work ethic. Are my teammates working as hard as I am? Or do I feel like I'm carrying the team/working substantially harder than others? If this is low along with Fairness, Psych Safety, and Manager, it can indicate the perception of favoritism.

What statements measure the shared values driver?

  • The people who work here share common work values.
  • I have shared work values with my coworkers.

How do shared values impact engagement?

When employees see alignment in their team's dedication, it fosters fairness and unity. This boosts engagement as everyone works together toward common goals. In workplaces with strong shared values, employees feel they're on a level playing field, avoiding feelings of overwork. This promotes high morale and engagement. Shared values also reduce the perception of favoritism.

Recommended actions to drive shared values

  • Develop company values: Encourage executive leadership to develop no more than 4 company values and specify key behaviors that demonstrate each value in action.

  • Clearly communicate company values: Encourage People Ops/HR, managers, and leaders to clearly and consistently communicate the organization’s values wherever possible both internally and externally (e.g. on the website, job postings, company intranet).

  • Identify personal values: Encourage managers to help their team members identify their top personal values (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature).

  • Hire employees who are values aligned: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to hire employees whose personal values align with their organization's values.

  • Hire for cultural add: Encourage People Ops/HR and managers to hire for “cultural add” versus “cultural fit” to reduce groupthink. Don't only hire people who look and think like you.

  • Commit to values-based talent decisions: Encourage People Ops/HR to make talent decisions for individual contributors and managers based on values-based competencies that are tied to specific behaviors (e.g. through 15Five’s Best-Self Review® feature).

Utilization

What is the utilization driver?

Utilization is a measurement of work experience. This driver assesses the degree to which the employee feels that they are being utilized to their potential. Regarding employee skills and/or competency, this driver assesses to what degree the employee feels challenged, appropriately. "This job pushes me to do my best — and I'm hitting that mark." Low scores on this scale may indicate that an employee feels that they are being underutilized.

Overall, this driver measures whether or not employees feel that the organization effectively uses their abilities and skills in their roles.

What statements measure the utilization driver?

  • My job makes good use of my skills and abilities.
  • My job challenges me in a positive way
  • My skills are being utilized to their fullest potential.

How does utilization impact engagement?

33% of professionals planning on looking for a new job cited boredom and the need for new challenges as their top reason for leaving. When employees perceive that their skills and competencies are being appropriately challenged, it leads to a sense of purpose and achievement. They feel motivated to do their best and meet or exceed expectations, contributing to higher engagement levels.

Recommended actions to drive utilization

  • Leverage realistic job previews: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop and leverage realistic job previews during the recruiting process to set clear expectations about the company and role.

  • Adopt skills-based hiring: Encourage People Ops/HR to adopt skills-based hiring (hiring based on skills, not social capital or credentials). Request evidence of their work (e.g. a digital portfolio) vs. solely relying on college degrees and resumes.

  • Leverage apprenticeships: Encourage People Ops/HR to leverage a longitudinal interview approach called the apprenticeship model. Place people in the role, identify skills gaps, and provide on-the-job training before you bring them fully on board.

  • Ensure role clarity: Encourage managers to ensure role clarity with team members and set clear agreements. Clarify role responsibilities, performance agreements, and what high and low performance looks like (e.g. through 15Five’s Career Hub feature). Train managers to create agreements over expectations.

  • Promote strengths-based development: Encourage managers to help their team members identify their top strengths and align their roles to their strengths, as well as maximize energizing work and reduce de-energizing work (e.g. through 15Five's Best-Self Kickoff tool and/ Career Hub feature).

  • Develop career ladders: Encourage People Ops/HR to develop career ladders that clearly outline the skills, competencies, and behaviors required for each role and career path (e.g. through 15Five's Career Hub feature).

  • Support women: Encourage managers to reduce “office housework” that is disproportionately given to women (e.g. admin tasks, menial jobs, and undervalued assignments).

  • Encourage skill development: Encourage managers to help their team members identify a rare and valuable skill to develop (e.g. through 15Five's Objectives feature).


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